Lesson Plans

Everyday DC: Lesson 2

Nairobi exhibition

A photo from Everyday Africa is hung at an exhibition in Nairobi. Image courtesy of Peter DiCampo. Kenya, 2017.


Students will be able to evaluate how images are used to represent different themes in other communities and explore how students visualize these themes in their own communities.


Students explore printed images from the Everyday Africa feed and use visual thinking strategies to identify themes (people/jobs/recreation/etc.) used to represent everyday life across Africa. Using images from Everyday Africa, students identify the different kinds of photos that journalists use to tell stories (e.g. portraits, action, details, establishing shots/landscapes).

Introducing the Lesson:

Guide students as they plan for portraits, action, details, and landscapes that they can use as part of their project. Encourage them to use Everday Africa photos as a resource, while also considering the unique needs of the stories they want to tell.


Starting today and throughout the remainder of the unit, students take turns reorganizing select images from the Everyday Africa project on a bulletin board to practice curation and sequencing photos in different ways to tell different stories. Students choose their photos from a bank that is also visible to the class. As different students get a chance to reorder the bulletin board “exhibition,” the class processes how ordering pictures differently changes the exhibition’s narrative.

Optional: Students can Skype with a Pulitzer Center journalist as part of this lesson to learn more about how they captured images for the Everyday Africa Instagram feed. See Educator Notes for details.


Students evaluate how different communities are represented and how that representation relates with everyday experiences in communities.

Sample rubric:


Exceeds Expectation

Meets Expectation

Needs Improvement

VA:Pr6.1.8a: Analyze why and how an exhibition or collection may influence ideas, beliefs, and experiences.






VA:Cn11.1.8a: Distinguish different ways art is used to represent, establish, reinforce, and reflect group identity.




Educator Notes: 


Analyze why and how an exhibition or collection may influence ideas, beliefs, and experiences.


Identify and interpret works of art or design that reveal how people live around the world and what they value.

The Everyday DC cornerstone unit is an opportunity for students to apply photography, photo analysis, and investigative reporting skills to the creation of photo essays that reflect their everyday realities as residents of Washington DC. Students will create group photo exhibitions that they feel accurately and responsibly represent their communities. Participating schools will have the opportunity collaborate with DCPS and the Pulitzer Center to select students who will help curate a district-wide Everyday DC exhibition featuring images from all schools participating in the unit.

This photography and curation unit is inspired by the Everyday Africa project created by journalists Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrill and supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Everyday Africa, a collection of images shot on mobile phones across the continent, is an attempt to redirect focus toward a more accurate understanding of what most Africans experience on a day-to-day basis: normal life. The project is a response to the common media portrayal of the African continent as a place consumed by war, poverty, and disease.

Additional Resources:

For an easily accessible PDF containing images from Everyday Africa, please click here.

For a PDF containing images from last year's Everyday DC exhibition, please click here.

Through the Pulitzer Center, teachers have the option to connect professional photojournalists with their class in-person or via Skype for this unit. To schedule a classroom visit, or for other questions about this unit, contact education@pulitzercenter.org.

This curriculum was designed by Fareed Mostoufi (Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting) & Andrew Westover (DCPS).

Lesson Builder Survey